I attended my first game of the season this past Friday night. It was not a typical, picturesque spring evening for a ballgame. Then again, the nights in San Francisco never are.
This is how you prepare to attend a Giants game. Wear a sweatshirt. Wear a jacket. Bring a winter hat and a pair of gloves. Make sure your bank account has enough balance to buy both beer and hot chocolate...(I usually don't drink either because I am naturally a warm person.)
To top it off for this game, it had been raining all day. Lucky for those wanting to attend the game, the Giant's groundskeeping crew had the foresight to put the tarp on the field during the entirety of the afternoon. At around 6:45, I finally left for the ballpark because it was announced formally that the tarp was removed, and the game would be played as scheduled.
As I normally am for most things, I was late to the game, arriving at the bottom of the 2nd inning. It seems most people were late (or didn't show at all). The paid attendance was announced as 31,000; there was definitely maybe half that amount of people there. Not that I blame them, in the Bay Area, it is unusual to have rain once May arrives.
As I made my way down to my seats (winning a company raffle is a great thing) with garlic fries in hand and the coat and hat firmly worn as the misty rain swirled around me, I looked up to see the Giants had made a dent in the starting pitcher's windup armor, establishing a runner on first base.
The Giants did go on to score a run in that inning, thanks to a Travis Ishikawa double, establishing a lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the evening. There were very few outstanding performances during the game; though there were no overtly sloppy ones either. Ryan Spilsborough did make one memorable running basketcatch in right field.
Randy Johnson's pitch movement and selection were impressive. His fastball reached 91-92 mph and his slider was at 83-84 mph with some serious bite. On the other side, Ubaldo Jimenez battled wildness and held the Giants to only 3 runs in 7 innings. The Rockies hitters, however, could not support the effort. Chris Ianetta unloaded an absurdly deep home run in the eighth and Ian Stewart soon followed with a 420 foot double to right-center. The Rockies were able to load the bases with 2 outs, but Brian Wilson, the Giants closer, came on and struck out Ryan Spilsborough swinging on a 3-2 fastball.
Note on Brian Wilson: His fastball touched 100 mph once according to the inflated stadium radar gun reading, but he was extremely wild. Also, his video entrance to House of Pain's "Jump Around" was really tacky.
All in all, it was a fun ballgame to attend. It had tense moments, a close score, and it stopped raining by the 4th inning.